The London Symphony Orchestra is built on the belief that extraordinary music should be available to everyone, everywhere—from orchestral fans in the concert hall to first-time listeners across the UK, Europe and the world.
The ensemble was established in 1904 as one of the first orchestras shaped by its musicians. Since then, generations of remarkable talents have built the LSO’s reputation for uncompromising quality and inspirational repertoires.
Today, the LSO is ranked among the world’s top orchestras, with a family of artists that includes Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth, and Conductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas. In March 2021 the orchestra announced that Sir Antonio Pappano will take up the role of Chief Conductor of the LSO from September 2024.
The LSO is Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London. The orchestra reaches international audiences through touring and artistic residencies—including with the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara—and through digital partnerships and an extensive program of live-streamed and on-demand online broadcasts.
Through a world-leading learning and community program, LSO Discovery, the LSO connects people from all walks of life to the power of great music. Based at LSO St Luke’s, the orchestra’s community and music education center and a leading performance venue on Old Street, LSO Discovery’s reach extends across East London, the UK, and the world through both in-person and digital activity.
LSO musicians are at the heart of this unique program, leading workshops, mentoring bright young talent, performing at free concerts for the local community, and using music to support adults with learning disabilities. LSO musicians also visit children’s hospitals and lead training programs for music teachers.
The ambition behind all of this work is simple: to share the transformative power of classical music with people who would not normally experience it. The impact is unrivalled, and each year, LSO Discovery reaches thousands of people of all ages.
In 1999, the LSO formed its own recording label, LSO Live, revolutionizing how live orchestral music is recorded, with over 150 recordings released so far. Overall, the LSO has made more recordings than any other orchestra.
As a leading orchestra for film, the LSO has entertained millions with classic scores for Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, The Shape of Water, and many other motion pictures. The LSO also uses streaming services to reach a worldwide audience totalling millions of music-lovers who listen online every month.
Through inspiring music, educational programs and technological innovations, the LSO’s reach extends far beyond the concert hall. Thanks to the generous support of the Corporation of the City of London, Arts Council England, corporate supporters, and individual donors, the LSO is able to continue sharing extraordinary music with as many people as possible, across London and around the world.